Paco Rabanne death: Spanish fashion visionary dies in France aged 88


Paco Rabanne, the Spanish-born designer known for his Space Age aesthetic, has died at the age of 88.

His death was confirmed by Spanish group Puig, which controls the Paco Rabanne fashion house and perfume business. The cause of his death has not been disclosed.

José Manuel Albesa, president of Puig’s fashion and beauty division, said: “Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic. Who else could induce fashionable Parisian women to clamour for dresses made of plastic and metal?

“Who but Paco Rabanne could imagine a fragrance called Calandre – the word means ‘automobile grill’, you know – and turn it into an icon of modern femininity?

“That radical, rebellious spirit set him apart: there is only one Rabanne. With his passing, we are reminded once again of his enormous influence on contemporary fashion, a spirit that lives on in the house that bears his name.”

The businessman died in the French commune of Portsall, in Brittany, north-west France, where he lived, on Friday 3 February.

“Not everyone can be a star,” he told students at the La Croix-Rouge high school in Brest, in 2010. “You have to know how to be smart. The main thing is to talk about yourself, to differentiate yourself from others. Never copy.”

Rabanne worked in fashion for more than half a century. Born Francisco Rabaneta in the Spanish Basque Country, he was a self-taught couturier whose mother worked for Balenciaga.

After rising to international prominence in the Sixties, Rabanne retired from fashion in 1999 and has rarely been seen in the public eye since.

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